The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs), Bord Bia and SuperValu understand the importance of supporting artisan food producers within communities throughout Ireland. Across SuperValu’s network of 223 stores, a large range of locally produced Irish products are stocked. The LEOs, Bord Bia and SuperValu actively assist the business development of artisan food producers and the Cork & Kerry Food Forum has given them the opportunity to showcase their products. In 2013, SuperValu, Bord Bia and the LEOs created the “Food Academy Start” Programme.
The Food Academy Start programme works with and nurtures artisan food producers through their journey from start up to obtaining their first retail listing with SuperValu. ‘Food Academy’ is currently working with hundreds of producers throughout the country. The programme consists of intensive training, workshops and mentoring given by experienced food marketing consultants. As part of the programme, there is an opportunity for producers to pitch their products to local SuperValu representatives, obtain their feedback and secure a three month trial in their local SuperValu store. In addition, the LEOs can assist food producers with capital, salary and marketing investment and Bord Bia can provide marketing grant, market information and export opportunities.